Deputies bust active meth lab on E. Morton, seize 140 lbs. of pot on I-72

By Gary Scott on August 4, 2015 at 11:59am

Morgan County Deputies arrested five people in a period of less than ten hours on two major drug cases.

The first involved the confiscation of almost 140 pounds of marijuana.      Sheriff’s department Chief Deputy Mike Carmody says at around 9:20 last night, Deputy Derek Suttles stopped a vehicle for going 73 miles per hour in a 70-mile-per-hour zone.

Carmody says Suttles ran the license of the driver, 66-year-old Clifford Bean of Danville, California, and saw it was not valid. A K-9 dog from the Roodhouse Police Department was then reportedly brought in; Carmody says the dog indicated there were drugs in the vehicle.

Bean reportedly admitted to having a large amount of marijuana. Carmody says the drugs had a street value of almost $500,000.

Also arrested was a passenger in the vehicle, 54-year-old Paul Verducci, also of Danville, California.

Both Bean and Verducci were booked at the Morgan County Jail for cannabis trafficking and possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis. Bean was also arrested for driving with a suspended license. Both men remain in custody.

Morgan County Deputies also arrested three men for allegedly running an active meth lab this morning.

Fifty-three-year-old Richard Graham of the 900 block of South Diamond, 33-year-old Brian Downs of the 300 block of East Wolcott, 46-year-old Virgil Riley of Beardstown were booked at the Morgan County Jail at around 6 a-m for aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

Riley was also arrested for possession of meth-manufacturing material, while Graham was picked up for possession of less than five grams of the drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Chief Deputy Carmody says deputies were informed of an alleged meth cook happening at the Knights Inn in the 1100 block of East Morton.

Sheriff’s deputies, Jacksonville police officers and officials with the Illinois Central Enforcement Group entered the room and found the active cook, according to Carmody.

Finished product believed to contain meth was found. The sheriff’s department is not saying how much of the product was seized; Carmody says lab results are pending.

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Downs was scheduled to appear in Morgan County Court this afternoon after being arrested last summer on meth-manufacturing charges. Riley also has a prior criminal record related to manufacturing the drug in Cass County.

Riley, Graham and Downs remain in custody.